Miles Green – The Changing Face of Heathcote Road

 

Researched by Clive Millington

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Bridge House, built c1850, seen here in 2009 standing at the junction of Heathcote Road and Rye Hills, is the first property on the Audley side of Heathcote Road. Immediately behind the property is the former railway line with the bridge which gives the property its name. (See The Changing Face articles on Halmer End and Bignall End for more information on the railway)

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: Bridge House

Thomas Titterton was a greengrocer here in 1910. Arthur Steele then purchased the property and lived here. He was a painter and decorator. In 1928 his son John Arthur is recorded here as a hardware dealer, and his daughter Nancy as a shopkeeper. His wife Martha Ann is also recorded as a shopkeeper, in 1932. General goods, including food and tobacco, were sold in the shop. The property was a doctor’s surgery around 1960 and is also known to have been an alehouse at some time.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 6 and 8 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 14 to 20 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The first property on the opposite side of Heathcote Road, at its junction with Miles Green Road, is Pear Tree Cottage, seen here in 2009. The large house is no. 7.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 7 Heathcote Road

This is recorded as the grocer’s shop of Elijah Wareham from 1908 to 1912. Charles Edwards, a grocer and baker, was here in 1917. From 1928 to 1940 Mrs Sarah Ellen Capewell had the shop, selling mainly grocery, sweets and tobacco.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The terraced houses from no. 13 down to no. 43 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 13 Heathcote Road

Thomas Rowley was a grocer and baker here from 1892 until 1924, with a bakery on the premises.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

Looking back with no. 43 at right in 2000

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 31 Heathcote Road

This was the home of Arthur Taylor, a plumber, painter and decorator, recorded from 1918 until 1943.

 

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The bungalows from no. 22 onwards in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This view, taken in the early 1900s, shows two of the oldest properties in Miles Green at the time. Both cottages appear on the 1837 Tithe Map of Audley (see plot nos. 1596 and 1795). The area was known as Jumblers Brook. The cottage at right is no. 45. The cottage at left is no. 66 which was accessed by a flight of steps, as the ground floor was below the level of the road. The brick wall, just to the left in the photo, is the bridge over the Dean Brook which ran at the bottom of the cottage garden. The ground floor of the cottage, with a single entrance door, contained only a living room with a small larder at the bottom of a staircase at the end furthest from the road. The staircase led to two bedrooms, the second of which was accessed through the first. A washhouse was attached to the side of the cottage and there was a privy at the rear of the garden. The lady standing outside no. 66 is my grandmother as this was the Millington family home for more than 60 years.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 45 Heathcote Road

This was the home of the Gleaves family, whose daughter Olive is believed to have had a small shop here in the 1920s. Following the demolition of the property the Gleaves family moved to no. 107 (see later entry).

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This view was taken in 1987 and shows a totally different scene from the one above. The cottage on the right of the above photo was demolished in the 1930s and no. 66 was demolished in 1954. A culvert was laid for the brook and the area where no. 66 had stood was filled in to road level and later built on. The bridge parapets remain to this day. On the left of view bungalows now stand between no. 20 and the brook, on land which was formerly owned by Arthur Steele of Bridge House.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

During the Second World War, 1939-1945, several air-raid shelters were constructed around the Audley area. One was sited just across the road from no. 66. The photo shows its demolition, probably in the 1970s.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This is another old view of the area known as Jumblers Brook, this time looking in the opposite direction from the above views. On the right are more old cottages, which again date back to at least 1837. No. 78 is nearest camera. The first house on the left is no. 71.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This is the same view in 1987. Nos. 78 to 84 have been demolished and the site redeveloped. Miles Green Garage stands on the left of view.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

No. 86 (right) to no. 94 as seen in 2000. (The building at left of view is in Station Road)

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: Miles Green Garage

The garage was started by George Edgar Rowley and it was operating by 1928. He lived nearby at no. 79 Heathcote Road. As well as running saloon cars for hire he also ran a bus service between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke town centres. The service was later extended to Longton. The buses had a grey and green livery and ran until 1954 when the company was taken over by The Potteries Motor Traction Company (P.M.T.). Fred Evans, who lived next door to the garage at no. 71 Heathcote Road, recalled that in the 1930s two coaches, a Maudsley 40-seater and an Albion, were in use on the route. They were kept at the garage, along with a Chrysler taxi, registration DYU 119. The bus drivers during the 1930s were Spencer Hughes, Percy Gater, Cyril Dean and, for a 3-month spell, Fred himself. The one full time conductor was Reginald Fryer but there was also a part time conductor who worked for both Rowley’s and Brown’s buses. George Rowley was still in charge at the garage in 1955 but in 1956 his son David Bernard took over and continued until at least 1960. By 1963 Les Micklewright had the garage, continuing until 1982. He is also recorded here as a funeral director, first with B. Hikin from 1972 to 1978 and then on his own until 1982. From I October 1982 until the present day the garage has been owned by Harold Bucknall, although it is now his son Craig who runs it.

 

 

A Guy 6-wheel bus, used by Rowley’s between 1928 and 1930

 

 

A Rowley’s bus at Longton bus station

 

              

 

Advertisements from the 1930s and the 1940s

 

 

 

Advertisements from 1954 and 1956

 

 

A 1966 advertisement

 

 

A 1972 advertisement

 

 

Harold Bucknall who took over the garage in 1982

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

The garage in 2003

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

Nos. 71 and 73 are followed by no. 79 at the start of the terraces, seen here in 2000. In the space between the properties, during the 1930s and until 1939, stood a wooden garage which housed the lorry of Alfred Coops, a coal merchant who lived at no. 29 at the time.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 71 and 73 stand next door to the garage in this 2009 view

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 71 Heathcote Road

Edward John Cheadle is recorded here in 1928 as a shopkeeper and was still living here in 1933.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No.73 Heathcote Road

This was the grocer’s shop of Mrs Amy Rowley from 1901 to 1916. She was the mother of George who had the garage. It was later the home of Tom Fryer, a painter and decorator.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 79 to 101 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 89 Heathcote Road

Mrs Edith Simon was a newsagent here from 1932 to 1940.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 103 to 111 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 103 Heathcote Road

Leonard Gleaves is recorded as having a shop here in 1940, selling general goods, as this became the Gleaves home after time in no. 45 and no. 107.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 107 Heathcote Road

Leonard Gleaves was here in 1936 as a fried fish dealer, following his move from no. 45. His sister Olive, who had married Alfred Berks, had the fish and chip shop by 1940.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

No. 96 stands on the corner of Station Road which leads to Halmer End. The shop was Oat Cuisine when this photo was taken in 2000 and is still the same today. The terraces continue to no. 118 on that side of the road.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

No. 96 Heathcote Road

Thomas Hughes had a grocer’s shop here from 1900 until his death in 1908. He was followed in 1912 by William Parker who was a butcher. He is recorded until 1950 and as a result the spot became known as Parker’s Corner and remains so to this day. Mr Parker “was never to be seen in his shop without his crisp white apron. The moment he detected a smear of blood or a dirty mark on it he retired to the rear of the shop and emerged a few seconds later with another unsullied white apron.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 72 and 73, where further details can be found). By 1960 Fred and Marie Wild were here, with the shop reverting to a grocer’s. In 1968 it was taken over by John and Doris Pardoe. By 1991 it was Miles Green Stores, run by their daughter Carol and her husband John Lawler. It was John and Carol who changed the shop to Oat Cuisine in 1997, specialising in oatcakes.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 96 to 104 (left) in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 102 Heathcote Road

Mrs Hannah Malkin had a shop here from 1928 to 1932.

 

 

 

Looking back with no. 118 at left in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 118 Heathcote Road

William Thomas Chatfield had a shop here from 1910 to 1933. He was a boot and clog maker who also had a shop in Halmer End (see part 2 of Halmer End – The Changing Face of High Street). His son, John, became a hairdresser and is recorded here in 1928 before his move to Audley, where his business continued in Nantwich Road for a further 30 years. “The first impression which struck one when first entering his shop was the scent of brilliantine, a pomade widely used by men to grease their hair so that it could be combed and brushed into some semblance of tidiness before putting in a parting.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 70 to 72, where further details can be found). Madge Hughes, also a hairdresser, was next at no. 118.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 113 to 121 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 117 Heathcote Road

This was the home of Frederick William Durber and his wife Margaret Ann. She is recorded as a fried fish dealer here in 1932.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 119 Heathcote Road

In 1911 Mary Brain was a shopkeeper here. The shop is recorded in the name of her husband Samuel from 1912-1918, then Mary again from 1921 to 1924 then Miss Elaine Brain in 1928. “Behind the counter, standing on shelves screwed to the walls were bottles of the most tempting sweets a child could imagine. Pear drops, acid drops, hundreds and thousands, liquorice allsorts, liquorice bars, Pontefract cakes, jelly babies, tiger root, bags of kali, lucky bags, humbugs, love hearts, peppermints, liquorice pipes and cigars, gob stoppers and aniseed balls to name but a few.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 67 and 68, where further details can be found).

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 121 Heathcote Road

Mrs Gina (or Jennie) Heath was another fried fish dealer in 1932. “Behind the counter were the two fryers, one for chips and the other for fish.” “The usual order was for a penn’orth of chips and a tuppenny fish, always cod.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 65 to 67, where further details can be found).

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 132 Heathcote Road, The Royal Oak

 

 

The Royal Oak in 2007

 

The Royal Oak is first mentioned by name in an 1834 trade directory, when Thomas Viggers, also a wheelwright, was licensee. However, a public house, which could be the Royal Oak, is listed in a survey of Audley parish in 1818. In the 1837 Audley Tithe Award the public house was owned by William Rhubotham along with 3 acres of land attached to it. This land can be seen on the 1837 map as plan nos. 1920 and 1921 with the pub showing as no. 1919. In October 1875 the Royal Oak and the adjoining land was advertised for sale by auction. It either failed to sell or was withdrawn and the following appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser newspaper of 25 March 1876:

 

 

“The Oak consisted of a taproom and a saloon bar. The former attracted the ‘rougher’ elements whilst the more choosy drank in the saloon.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 62 to 65, where further details can be found).

 

Licensees: Dates are those for which records have been found. The intervening years could be covered by those listed or by an unrecorded licensee.

 

Thomas Viggers 1834-1841

George Wood 1846-1864

Elisha Riley 1869-1876

William Bickerton 1878-1892

Sampson Viggers 1896-1900

Charles Warham 1901-1924 (Owned by Woolfe Brewery, Crewe in 1910)

David Burrows 1924

George Beech 1928

Edwin Groom 1932-1940

Clarence Proctor 1941-1962

John Chatfield 1970

Joseph Linnell and/or John Taylor during 1980s

Andrew Johnson during 1990s

David Thompson 2000-2001

Yvonne Barber 2002

Barbara Hackett 2003

John Henry 2007-

Nick & Jayne Morgan 2016

 

 

This photo taken in 1951 marks the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Prince Charles (later King Charles II) hiding in the oak tree at Boscobel House in Shropshire, following his defeat and escape from the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The tree at Boscobel became known as the Royal Oak, hence the many public houses with that name.

The people in the photo are, from left to right:

Mr Taylor / Mr Clark / Mr Durber / Mrs Bertha Proctor (wife of licensee) / Mr Coops / Mr Reg Guest (in doorway) / Mr Clarence Proctor (licensee) / Mrs Gleaves / Mrs Durber / Mrs Coops / Mr Dean

 

(See Audley Community News issue 3 for a photo of Miles Green football club in 1913; issue 15 for another in 1902, and issue 5 for a photo of The Ancient Order of Foresters c1900, all taken outside the Royal Oak)

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Immediately behind the Royal Oak stood these houses, nos. 138A to 144A Heathcote Road, seen in 1980, just a year before they were demolished. Miles Green Recreation Ground is just to the right of camera.

 

 

This view of the rear of the properties shows the privies (outside toilets) once common in most properties

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Looking back in 2009, the large houses to left are former police houses, nos. 136 and 138, standing next door to the Royal Oak. To the right of view are nos. 128 and 130, painted white.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

Nos. 135 to 151 seen in 2000

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

In the middle of the row stands West Leigh, seen here in 2003, once the home of Jack Meads. His vivid recollections of life in Miles Green can be found in the three part article “Memories of Miles Green between the Wars” in Audley Historian nos. 9 to 11 inclusive, from which brief extracts have been used in this article.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

Just showing to the left is no. 162. The other building is the only farmhouse in Heathcote Road, Miles Green, known during the 20th century as Taylor’s Farm. It is seen here in 1989. The barn has what appears to be the date 1864 in a different coloured brick.

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

The same view in 2009 with all but the farmhouse replaced by new properties

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 160 Heathcote Road (Taylor’s Farm)

This small farm can be traced back to 1818 when it was owned by Walter Proctor and occupied by James Hancock. It had 7 acres of land, between the farmhouse and Black Lane (which later became Station Road) at the rear of the property. In the Tithe Award of 1837 the parcels of land, again of 7 acres, can be seen on the map as nos. 1915, 1916, 1918, 1923 and 1925 attached to the farmhouse, no. 1917. The house and land was then in the hands of executors, Walter Proctor having died in 1833. The occupier was Daniel Spode, a farmer, who remained here until his death in 1857. By 1861 the property was occupied by Thomas Burgess, recorded in the census of that year as a colliery banksman, but in the 1871 census as a farmer of 7 acres. Thomas Burgess was one of the owners of the Old Hayswood Colliery and Estate at Halmer End which adjoined the land belonging to the farm (see Audley Historian nos. 12 to 15 inclusive for the full story of Old Hayswood). He died in 1875 and left his estate of 7 acres to his nephew John Corbett, who was recorded on the 1881 census as a colliery proprietor living here. By 1901 the property was occupied by Amos Taylor, a colliery labourer. He was the father of the following who are all recorded as farmers here:

Arnold Taylor 1928-1932

Wilson Taylor 1933-1940

Harvey Taylor 1950-1980

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 162 Heathcote Road

In 1861 John Corbett (see no. 160 above) was a grocer and provision dealer here. By 1871 William Holding, a house painter and grocer, was here with his brother Samuel, a greengrocer. William is recorded again in the 1881 census and in 1891 when his son, also named William, appears as an assistant grocer. It is William Holding junior who had his baker’s shop here until 1936. His bakery was situated across the road from the shop. “Besides baking bread Mr Holding also made a variety of pies and cakes all of which were sold in his shop, opposite to the bakery.” (Extract from Audley Historian no. 11 pages 69 and 70, where further details can be found). It was Mrs Holding who ran the shop.

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

Nos. 163 to 169 in 2009

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

Fact file: No. 167 Heathcote Road

Gerald Bailey had an electrical shop here.

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

On the same side of the road stands Brook Terrace (also known as Brook Villas), seen here in 2000. On the right of view are a block of flats in the entrance to Victoria Avenue.

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Ian Bailey)

 

The wall plaque showing that Brook Terrace was built in 1887

 

 

© 2016 Audley & District Family History Society

 

 

 

This view shows, what were at the time, the final houses in Heathcote Road, Miles Green. They are nos. 199 to 211. Beyond this point to the right of camera are several bungalows before the road becomes Heathcote Road, Halmer End. In the gap between the properties is the entrance to Victoria Place.

 

 

Victoria Place contained about 40 houses, built some time before 1871. It was originally called Newcroft but also appears in records as New Croft, The Crofts and The Croft. This was corrupted to ‘The Craft’ which remained in use by locals after it was renamed Victoria Place some time between 1901 and 1905, presumably to commemorate Queen Victoria who died in 1901.

 

 

Another view of the entrance shows houses on the right which were the first of three more rows of houses

 

 

This is the rear of the entrance road into Victoria Place, as seen shortly before demolition. The fields at the rear lead to Apedale.

 

 

This view shows the rear, side row of houses, again shortly before demolition. Victoria Place was completely demolished along with the properties in Heathcote Road at its entrance. The site was redeveloped in the 1970s with council flats and houses, being renamed in the process, Victoria Avenue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For details of Audley Historian and other available publications go to the Publications page on this website. For details of Audley Community News go to the News page on this website.

 

Additional information and recollections about any of the buildings and businesses would be greatly appreciated, as would any photographs of individual buildings or occupiers, which could be incorporated into the article. Please contact the society with any information.

 

Several of the old photographs are reproduced by kind permission of the Thomas Warham Collection and James Pointon. Most of the colour photographs are by Clive Millington with the exception of those reproduced by kind permission of Ian Bailey. Other photographs have been kindly donated.

 

Many thanks to all concerned for the information and photographs received for insertion into this article.